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Sunday, January 27, 2013

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How does your life tell the story of God's love?

My dad had a powerful voice. In his prime, I could hear him calling me from a mile away as his voice soared through the high plains air. One of my fondest childhood memories is standing beside my dad in church, singing "I Love to Tell the Story." Dad could not read music but he had a strong tenor voice. When we sang this familiar melody, he could rattle the windows. He never articulated his faith in spoken words, but by his singing and by his living, I knew that he trusted in the story of Jesus and his love.

In his late fifties, dad was diagnosed with cancer. He fought the disease and then the despair and depression that came in its wake. His bold voice grew weaker and weaker. By the time of his death at 67, he barely spoke and never sang. But across the years and the miles, his voice still echoes for me. And whenever I sing this song, I imagine him singing this theme in glory and telling the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

Lord God, today we thank you for all of those who have sung the old, old story of your love in our lives. May we be faithful and bold singers of the story that never dies. Amen.

Ron Baesler
Messiah Lutheran Church, Yorba Linda, Calif.
Master of Divinity, 1976; Doctor of Theology , 1995

"I Love to Tell the Story," ELW 661

1: I love to tell the story
of unseen things above,
of Jesus and his glory,
of Jesus and his love.  
I love to tell the story,
because I know 'tis true;
it satisfies my longings
as nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story,
'twill be my theme in glory,
to tell the old, old story
of Jesus and his love.

2: I love to tell the story;
'tis pleasant to repeat
what seems, each time I tell it,
more wonderfully sweet.  
I love to tell the story,
for some have never heard
the message of salvation
from God's own holy Word.  

4: I love to tell the story,
for those who know it best
seem hungering and thirsting
to hear it like the rest.  
And when, in scenes of glory,
I sing the new, new song,
'twill be the old, old story
that I have loved so long.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.